Which birds still sing in the deep, cold Winter?

First caught my eyes when I looked out the window were the movements of flight. It was -23C (-9F), which birds were still active in these temperatures? I could hear them chirping cheerfully out on the trees in my backyard.

House Finches are not supposed to be hanging out in this latitude, according to Audubon. But here they are, right in my own backyard, saving me a birding trip which I’d never take in this weather.

House Finches eating the remaining fruits on trees. Apparently not just for the food, but the drink. Never thought how birds in winter get their water from, since everything’s frozen. The snow, of course! Here they are taking in the snow. Not very clear picture, but you can see the snow on their beaks if you enlarge the pic. Trust me, they were feasting on the snow.

The other day, I took these photos as I saw a group of birds perched high on some tall trees in a distance. I heard their electrifying trills. Yes, Waxwings! But in the winter, the Cedar Waxwings have all flown away. What we have here are the Bohemian Waxwings, the vagabonds of birds, kind of rare for some birders located in the eastern and southern parts of North America:

They are more plump in the body than the Cedar Waxwings, but with the same spiky crest and yellow-tipped tail. Don’t have anything closer than these photos as they were so far away.

These birds still sing in -20’sC weather, plus the chickadees and the nuthatches, the downy woodpeckers too. Not to mention the ducks.

Life goes on.


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If she’s not birding by the Pond, Arti’s likely watching a movie, reading, or writing a review. Creator of Ripple Effects, bylines in Asian American Press, Vague Visages, Curator Magazine.

22 thoughts on “Which birds still sing in the deep, cold Winter?”

  1. That’s incredible, so many birds in such low temperatures. I guess I assumed they would migrate. Incredible pictures too, many thanks for sharing them.
    And… I can se another Jessica J Lee book on the left hand side of your page – I missed that first time round. Definitely something I will investigate.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Denise, these birds stay, it’s already February. Another title for my post could be, Birds in Winter. But that sounds a bit banal. However, I admit, I was surprised to see so many House Finches gathering at my backyard for the fruits in these temperatures. Guess they all need to eat and drink no matter how cold it is.

      I’ve two books by Jessica J. Lee on my side bar. Two Trees Make A Forest is her newest and selected for this year’s ‘Canada Reads’ short list where five famous Canadians will be defending each title to come up with the winner. The winner means a book worthy to be read by the whole of Canada. My fingers crossed.


  2. Brrrrrr -23C !! Glad you didn’t have to go out to get those shots of the house finches. I love the second photo with the snow-capped berries and the little bird with snow on its beak. Stay warm and stay safe, Arti!


    1. I tried just opening the patio door but didn’t work. So have to put on full winter gear just to step out on the patio to take the pics. All worth it though. 🙂


  3. I haven’t seen any house finches in months. Now I’m wondering if they’re migratory. When they’re here, they’re wonderful singers. You know I envy you the waxwings, too. But, we still have flocks of robins around. I must have had 200 in the yard last week!

    I went to the Brazoria refuge today, and saw my first Mississippi Kite. It’s a beautiful raptor. I had a hard time getting a good photo, but I got a decent one that I’ll post. I heard a cardinal singing last week, and one afternoon a dove was cooing. They sound like they’re just tuning up — spring is coming.


    1. Well, Linda, the groundhogs (both in the U.S. and Canada) tell us there are six more weeks of winter. And I believe them, if not more for us. I hope these minus 20’s C. weather will be the last batch and that March will be kinder to us. When I see robins coming back, then I’ll know we’re out of the cold and into spring.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a nice surprise visit from the house finches! Lately all I have heard are a few sparrows and of course, the crows. But I am usually out in the pre-dawn and dusk but with the days getting longer, I’m hoping to hear more variety 🙂


        1. I have solid evidence the groundhog(s) just might be right: -26C now for me that’s -15F for u. Have been having this kind of temp. for the last few days and will continue until this weekend. You’re right, I lay in bed to read or listen to audiobooks. What else can I do? 🙁

          Liked by 1 person

  5. How lovely to see these beautiful birds and hear them too. I don’t think I’ve heard birdsong in months. What a gift. I especially love the waxwings, though I don’t know a Bohemian from a Cedar! That’s even colder than we are — bundle up and stay cozy!


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